As electronic health records (EHRs) become more common in healthcare settings, electronic prescription capabilities have become more widespread as well. Electronic prescribing, or e-prescribing, has several benefits, including improved patient safety, increased efficiency, and reduced medication errors.
The path to effective e-prescribing starts with selecting a high-quality EHR system that has been certified for e-prescribing by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). This certification ensures that the EHR meets certain standards for security, accuracy, and reliability.
Once a certified EHR system is in place, healthcare providers must follow best practices for e-prescribing to ensure that the process is safe and efficient. These best practices include:
- Conducting a medication reconciliation: Before prescribing any medication, healthcare providers should review the patient’s medication history to ensure that the medication is safe and appropriate for the patient’s condition.
- Using clinical decision support (CDS) tools: CDS tools can help healthcare providers identify potential drug interactions, allergies, and other risks associated with a particular medication.
- Using standardized medication names and dosages: Standardizing medication names and dosages can help reduce confusion and prevent medication errors.
- Using electronic prior authorization (ePA): ePA can help reduce the time and effort required to obtain prior authorization for medications that require it.
- Educating patients: Healthcare providers should educate patients on the benefits and risks of their medications and encourage them to ask questions about their medications and treatment plans.
By following these best practices, healthcare providers can ensure that e-prescribing is safe, efficient, and effective.